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VI by The Danse Society

In Short:

Mysterious, powerful and densely layered.

In Depth:

The press release that accompanies The Danse Society's latest studio album arrestingly declaims “ 70 years after the end of the bombing of London by the Luftwaffe's V1 flying bombs, The Danse Society are launching their own bombardment with their new album 'VI”. Far from being mere hyperbole, I was grabbed by images of helplessness in the face of attack, of being taken places, of being allowed a glimpse into a dark group imagination – all happening alongside the barrage of distortion, heavy beats and deep emotion.

Sonically, I especially enjoyed the interplay between the heavy guitar sounds, beats and over all feel with the more whimsical keys parts and samples that lift the songs up into the atmospheric and beyond. I found that listening in different environments helped me to hear the various elements that have gone into making this. The headphones experience is incredibly immersive, showcasing the lush soundscape that has been created whereas having the tracks thump from the stereo allows the power to come across and really kick you in the chest.

There is a very definite sense of having entered somewhere else when you listen to this album. Ironically, if we were German we'd have a term for it but in the absence of such linguistic sophistication I can only reflect that this is a slightly unsettling place, populated with ideas and spaces that not everyone will be comfortable with. I like the fact that this is an album that requires some effort on the part of the listener - this isone that bears repeated listening and absorption. Whilst 'VI' sits well within their previous catalogue, it isn't afraid to stretch and move beyond the strict interpretations of the genre, probably a function of the fresh injection of blood that occurred prior to the recording.

The album is released today and is available on vinyl, CD and download. The best place to keep up with all things Danse-like would be to visit www.thedansesociety.com where you can find links to all the social media as well as a wealth of material, history and upcoming news.

PS: my favourite track is Angel DNA.

The Geek Zone:

On a technical level I found myself repeatedly impressed with the sounds, effects, performances and the general excellence of the production. I'd like to draw particular attention to the solidity of the rhythms, the different space and feel given to each track and the ear candy (some obvious, some hidden) that is evident throughout the recording. Every armchair mix engineer has their favourite way of doing things, and I'm certainly not saying that I agree with every decision taken, any contentious choices are stylistic choices, subjective decisions as to how a piece of art is to be given into the world and I suspect that amongst those who would care to argue with me, I'd be in the minority! I would like to hear Maethelyiah's vocals being slightly more forward in the mix but we are well and truly in the nitpicking zone here!

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